Nearly half of consumers worry about being tricked by fraudsters this holiday season

There has been a 29% increase in suspected online retail fraud during the start of the 2019 holiday shopping season compared to the same period in 2018, and a 60% increase in suspected e-commerce fraud during the same period from 2017 to 2019, according to iovation.

online retail fraud increase

The findings are based on the online retail transactions analyzed for its e-commerce customers between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday over the last three years.

“Among the conclusions from TransUnion’s 2019 Holiday Retail Fraud Survey: nearly half of all consumers, 46%, are concerned with being victimized by fraudsters this holiday season with baby boomers being the most concerned of any generation at 54%,” said TransUnion Senior VP of Business Planning and Development, Greg Pierson.

Additional findings: Online retail fraud increase

The percent of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions during the start of the holiday shopping season and entire year compared to legitimate transactions for the past three years.

  • 15% from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, 2019. 10% so far in 2019.
  • 13% from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26, 2018. 11% all of 2018.
  • 11% from Nov. 23 to Nov. 27, 2017. 7% all of 2017.

The top days during the start of the 2019 holiday shopping season for legitimate and suspected fraudulent online retail transactions.

  • Thanksgiving, Nov. 28: 16% of legitimate holiday weekend transactions (#5). 17% of suspected fraudulent holiday weekend transactions (#4-tie).
  • Black Friday, Nov. 29: 26% of legitimate holiday weekend transactions (#1). 25% of suspected fraudulent holiday weekend transactions (#1).
  • Saturday, Nov. 30: 19% of legitimate holiday weekend transactions (#3). 19% of suspected fraudulent holiday weekend transactions (#3).
  • Sunday, Dec. 1: 17% of legitimate holiday weekend transactions (#4). 17% of suspected fraudulent holiday weekend transactions (#4-tie).
  • Cyber Monday, Dec. 2: 22% of legitimate holiday weekend transactions (#2). 21% of suspected fraudulent holiday weekend transactions (#2).

The countries and U.S. cities where the highest percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions originated from during the start of the 2019 holiday shopping season.

Country

  • China: 57%
  • Central African Republic: 57%
  • Lebanon: 45%

U.S. city

  • Boardman, Oregon: 70%
  • Pineville, Louisiana: 42%
  • Alexandria, Louisiana: 38%

online retail fraud increase

Mobile transaction and fraud trends

The survey also found that consumers used a mobile phone or tablet for 63% of their online retail transactions during the start of the 2019 holiday shopping season. That is up from 58% for the same period in 2018 and 56% for the same period in 2017.

For the holiday shopping weekend, retail transactions from a mobile phone compared to all e-commerce transactions were:

  • 64% on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28
  • 63% on Black Friday, Nov. 29
  • 67% on Saturday, Nov. 30
  • 66% on Sunday, Dec. 1
  • 57% on Cyber Monday, Dec. 2

“Year after year it becomes clear that when not at work, consumers increasingly prefer using their mobile devices to make retail purchases due to their convenience,” said iovation’s Senior Director of Customer Success, Melissa Gaddis. “Once at work when they’re at their desk, consumers turn to their desktop and laptop computers to make purchases.”

Always trying to emulate the purchasing patterns of trusted consumers, mobile is also the preferred method for fraudulent online retail transactions. A mobile phone or tablet appeared to be used for 63% of all suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions during the long holiday shopping weekend compared to 59% from the same period in 2018 and 51% from the same period in 2017.

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